The Cyno Breeders Association (CBA) wishes to clarify the facts following recent press articles.

The CBA brings together local members of the industry. Cyno breeding has been operating in Mauritius for 38 years and exports to the most renowned medical research laboratories in Europe and North America. More than 6,300 Mauritians are directly and indirectly employed by the industry.

CBA members practice an open-door policy and full transparency with public authorities including the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) and the Livestock and Veterinary Division (LVD).

These institutions regularly carry out inspections on the various sites of CBA members to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Native Terrestrial Biodiversity and National Parks Act as well as the Animal Welfare Act. These laws govern the protection of local wildlife at all stages.

The CBA thus collaborates fully with the NPCS and the LVD but also with the police, in order to prevent illegal activities in the sector.

While respecting local laws, the CBA also adheres to the rigorous standards of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). This internationally renowned auditing and accreditation body promotes the welfare of laboratory animals and high-quality research.

In many areas, CBA members have adopted standards higher than those required by AAALAC to ensure animal welfare.

Even though in Europe and North America, several types of mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates are used in medical research, primates remain an essential link in the advancement of cutting-edge medicine, particularly in terms of gene therapy and immunotherapy.

Local primates have contributed directly to the creation of drugs for the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer, malaria and recently Covid-19 and chikungunya.

Very promising medical research for the treatment of HIV and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, which affect more and more people around the world, is also in development.

All the major scientific nations in North America and Europe, but also in Asia, particularly in China and India, conduct medical research programs on animals, including primates.

In India, medical research on monkeys has been carried out for over four decades. Moreover, the Indian vaccine against covid developed by researchers from the great peninsula in 2021 is the result of research carried out on macaques from the state of Maharashtra.

In December 2023, two eminent Indian researchers, respectively from the National Institute for Research in Reproductive and Child Health and the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, published an article in the Hindustan Times newspaper entitled: “Why we need monkey breeding and research facilities in India”.

Despite the numerous scientific advances of recent decades, medical research in a certain number of cutting-edge specialties cannot be carried out without resorting to animal experimentation. Many countries also impose a legal obligation on research laboratories to test the safety and effectiveness of their drugs on animals – including primates – before making them available to the general public.

The primary goal of CBA members is to enable and assist in the advancement of ethical medical research that has the potential to save hundreds of millions of lives around the world while ensuring the well-being of animals.

February 23, 2024

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